Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Game Poster Image
Good brawler doesn't knock out its competition.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players assured they're always the good guy attacking the bad guy, but constantly competing in vicious drawn-out fights. No real positive, feel-good messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroic characters present themselves as courageous, noble, even in form of glorified violent combat.

Ease of Play

Learning curve to play requires precision, skill, attention to detail for combinations, special moves.

Violence

Lots of fantastical violence. Consists almost exclusively of two characters mercilessly going at one another until someone's completely knocked out. Players use largely fantastical, whimsical attacks -- some characters are surreal nonhuman creatures, taking away any sense of realism. One stage appears to have nondescript blood spatter on the wall; no other blood in game.

Sex

Occasional depictions of females in revealing clothing posing in provocative stances.

Language

Frequent use of "s--t" and "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character always depicted with a cigar in his mouth.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Persona 4 Ultimax is a fighting game where players can fight as or against several characters from the Persona video game franchise. The franchise is well-known for its fantastical and sometimes surreal graphical style, so although there's frequent fast-paced combat, it's tempered with stylized effects such as over-the-top attack animations and bright bursts of color. There's one stage where blood splatter appears to be on a wall in the background. Expect occasional depictions of female characters in skimpy swimsuits or towels, occasionally in provocative poses. One character is shown with a cigar in his mouth, though there's never any dialogue about smoking in general. Multiplayer is unmoderated, raising serious privacy and safety concerns.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byclankfandom100 February 9, 2018
This was my first Persona game, but I recommend playing Persona 3 and Persona 4 before this game, despite me understanding the story before playing either of t... Continue reading

What's it about?

PERSONA 4 ARENA ULTIMAX is a fighting game where players step into fast-paced battles. In a couple modes, players can watch an unfolding story between watching one-on-one fights. In the plot, the protagonists must work together to restore peace to the world after it's taken over by a mysterious force turning people into evil "shadow" versions of themselves. Players must either attack the shadow versions of their friends to restore them to normal or engage in combat against the "bad guys" responsible for the disaster in the first place.

Is it any good?

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a very competent and well-rounded fighting game. It incorporates all the aspects that allow players to pick up and play the game from scratch, while honing their skills over the long run. There are numerous combination attacks, unique to each of the more than 20 characters, for players to learn and master. There also are unique and interesting elements, such as the ability to "charge" their attacks for greater impact and special over-the-top "instant kill" moves that trigger exaggerated animations, ranging from successively slashing an opponent with colorful blades to sending them into outer space and then pummeling them back to Earth.

The two story modes also are well-done and add a compelling reason to play the game in solo mode against computer opponents. But though it does everything to make the game a strong and worthy fighting game, it adds nothing to differentiate it from any other fighting game on the market. Those who are fans of the Persona video game franchise will of course appreciate all the characters and environments, but on its own, it's little more than a competent and enjoyable fighting game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way violence is incorporated into the story modes. What is the best way to solve problems when they can't be solved peacefully? Is violence sometimes the only answer if it's for the greater good?

  • Who is your favorite character, and why? Do you identify with that character in some way?

  • When have you had to overcome a seemingly larger-than-life obstacle? How did it feel when you eventually got through it?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Price: $39.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release date: September 30, 2014
  • Genre: Fighting
  • ESRB rating: T for Language, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence

For kids who love action

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate